VUWSA’s submission to the Social Service Select Committee asking for changes to the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill has been rejected.
Of the 706 submissions—most of which called for the scope of the bill to be broadened—all that has emerged is increased penalties for landlords not meeting rental standards.
VUWSA’s oral submission in support of their initial written submission made recommendations on ventilation, heating, and that student’s associations and charities have the ability to act on behalf of tenants at the Tenancy Tribunal.
VUWSA President Jonathan Gee described it as the Select Committee “walking away from their aim to make rental housing warmer, drier and safer.”
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Welfare Vice President Rory Lenihan-Ikin, who presented the recommendations to the Select Committee with Gee in February, said “the Select Committee have said the right things around the power imbalance between tenants and landlords, but they’ve failed to back that up with action.”
VUWSA will continue campaigning for a rental-housing warrant of fitness, shifting focus now to the local body elections, something Gee hoped WCC candidates would see as a “priority.”